ATLANTIS — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization – condemned the Georgia High School Association’s decision today to ban transgender student-athletes to compete in school sports on teams consistent with their gender identity.
“This unnecessary pressure to discriminate against transgender student-athletes, which appears to have reached a climax today, deepens Georgia’s troubling record on these issues and unnecessarily harms an already vulnerable population,” he added. said Dewayne Johnson, Georgia State Director of HRC. “The legislative session was about to adjourn last month when Governor Kemp put his thumb on the scales to bring this topic back on the agenda. Now, the Georgia High School Association has followed their lead in enacting this ban, and Georgia’s transgender students will be the ones to suffer. This is a parody and should be reversed.
“This decision is absolutely devastating for families like mine,” said Jen Slipakoff, Georgia resident and parent of a transgender student. “The cruelty that accompanies targeting the most vulnerable children is truly staggering. The painful consequences are going to be detrimental to the mental health of every trans child, and they will be negatively impacted for years to come, if not the rest of their lives. Shame on the GHSA for prioritizing politics over children.
Today’s decision follows the enactment last month of House Bill 1084, which was amended at Governor Kemp’s request in the final hours of the legislative session to include the creation of a commission who would have the power to ban transgender student athletes.
A recent study showed that 65.1% of LGBTQ+ people in Georgia said they had suffered from depression in the previous two weeks – more than three times the number of non-LGBTQ+ Georgians saying the same. Politicians are guilty of the harm they cause by subjecting vulnerable young people to continued legislative attacks.
Strong opposition to discriminatory attacks against the LGBTQ+ population
The last PRRI data AC watch support for LGBTQ+ rights is on the rise in Georgia and nationally: 76% of Georgians support protections against discrimination and 59% of Georgians oppose denial of service on religious grounds. About eight in ten Americans (79%) support laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing. This reflects an 11% increase in the proportion of Americans who support anti-discrimination protections since 2015 (71%).
Anti-transgender discrimination in sport is being challenged by prominent advocates for women and girls in sport – such as National Center for Women’s Rightsthe Women’s Sports Foundation, Women Leaders in College Sport, and others – who support trans inclusion policies and oppose efforts to exclude transgender students from sports participation. The same goes for top female athletes, including Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoeand Cheryl Reeve.
LGBTQ+ children have real threats and obstacles to overcome. 86% of LGBTQ+ youth say they have been bullied, harassed or assaulted at school. Studies have shown that bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ youth contributes to high rates of absenteeism, school dropout, adverse health consequences and school failure. Children want to play sports for the same reasons: being part of a team, learning discipline, and above all, having fun with your friends. Kids shouldn’t be banned from sports because of who they are.
A cascading hate campaign across the country
This year, officials across the state Texas have attempted to criminalize transitional care for minors, and lawmakers from Alabama are about to pass legislation to do so as well. In Floridathe ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill aims to prevent teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people, further stigmatizing LGBTQ+ people and isolating LGBTQ+ children if it becomes law. Iowa recently became the first state in the nation to enact statewide anti-discrimination protections that include LGBTQ+ people to reverse the trend by prohibiting transgender women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their identity of gender. And in South DakotaGovernor Noem proclaimed that he “makes me sadto hear about the high rates of depression among LGBTQ+ people in his state — just days after signing the first anti-trans bill of 2022 into law.
While the sponsors of these bills make misleading claims about what their bills will do, their followers reveal their true intentions. Advisors and Staff to Republican Governors of Florida, Texas and South Dakotano longer a bill sponsor in Iowahave made public comments this year, revealing that these bills are more about prejudice against transgender people than an actual political position.
Among the organizations supporting Senator Lee’s legislation are a litany of anti-LGBTQ+ organizations, including hate groups designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council. The work of these groups includes efforts to criminalize LGBTQ+ relationships, oppose established laws like marriage equality, and even oppose the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Businesses, advocacy groups and athletes oppose anti-trans legislation
Nearly 200 major US companies have spoken out in opposition to proposed anti-transgender legislation in states across the country. Companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Dell, Dow, Google, IBM, Lyft, Marriott, Microsoft, Nike and Paypal have objected to these bills. Four of America’s largest food companies also condemned “dangerous and discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender and non-binary people,” and the The Walton Family Foundation released a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas.
The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups, representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1,000 child welfare organizations, have released an open letter calling on state legislators countries to oppose dozens of bills targeting LGBTQ+ people and transgender children in particular.
Nearly 550 college athletes have resisted anti-transgender legislation demanding that NCAA championships be removed from states that have enacted anti-trans sports laws.
A survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group found that when it comes to transgender youth participation in sports, the strong public tilt is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student-athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sport is important in the lives of young people. Young transgender people should have the opportunity to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.
Ja Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are considered full members of society at home, at work and in every community.